RHS Football: Hornets Stifle Panthers
The Rugby Panthers put themselves behind the eight ball to advance to the playoff rounds with a 0-30 must-win loss to the Harvey-Wells County Hornets. The Panthers will not only need a win against Larimore, but they will need to win by 17 points. The game will occur after press time.
A bright spot on the field in a game worth forgetting was Blackhawk Jones, who led all defensive players with 11 tackles. Jones, a senior, is one of many players on the Panthers who leaves it on all the field every game.
In a loss like this it is important to look beyond the playing field statistics for the character of the team, so we reached out to Coach Scott Grochow to get his perspective. Coach shared, “The game against Harvey was one of those games where we let too many opportunities slip away. We missed some things here and there and then the turnover bug comes. We then get a couple of bad penalties and it becomes a snowball effect. With as short-handed as we are we can’t have that and if we do we have to fight back from that.”
Coach Grochow shared his thoughts on the upcoming game against Larimore. “Well we don’t get to regionals unless we beat Larimore and beat them by 17 points if not we are out and the season is done. Football is the only sport in the state that you don’t get to the postseason if you don’t play well enough during the regular season. We want to go out and play this game as hard as we can on Friday and what happens, happens.”
Coach Grochow continued, “We want people to see what we really are and not what we showed on the field the last couple of weeks. That is what we talked about as a team, no matter what happens against them, these group of guys are pretty good guys. Unfortunate things have happened and we need to recover from them.”
One of nice things about reporting from the sidelines you are witness to some special moments that can’t be seen from the stands. One of those moments was when Trevor Longie, obviously in pain and the game out of reach, asked Coach Grochow to be put back in the game. We asked Coach Grochow if he remembered the interaction, “Yes, it was one of those things the kid isn’t saving himself for something else, he wants to do something for you. He very easily could of say I’m done, my shoulder sore and I want to save it for whatever and he didn’t and that meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to us as a team.”
Coach Grochow concluded, “I think we have some kids that want to do well and still come to play even though this year isn’t going as expected. As a coach that means a lot when you have kids that are willing go do what they have to, even though they probably shouldn’t because of injuries and there might be other people telling them not to. Yet they still want to go do it for the team and that means more to me than anything else because they understand it is not about one person it is about the team. They are not doing it for anyone other than the team. It is never about “I” they are doing it for “Us” that means a lot.”
Stats for the game: Offense: Rushing: Kaden Jaeger, 62 yards, Victor Gronvold, 33 yards, Anders Johnson, 33 yards. Passing: Johnson 9-19 for 139 yards. Receiving: Hunter Hager 4 receptions for 62 yards, Gronvold 3 receptions for 45 yards, and Longie 1 reception for 32 yards. Punt Returns: Johnson 1 return for 13 yards. Kick Returns: Hager 3 returns for 38 yards and Gronvold 1 return for 10 yards. Defense: Jones, 11 tackles, Gronvold, 6 tackles, Ethan Clements, 6 tackles, Ethan Morin, 5 tackles, Jaeger, 4 tackles, Hager, 3 tackles, Kiefer Gingerich, 2 tackles, David Schneibel, 1 tackle, Johnson, 1 tackle, Spencer Koehmstedt, 1 tackle, Longie, 1 tackle. Punts: Johnson 3 punts for a 31-yard average.
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